Diksha Chhabra the motivating force for women, is a certified Fitness Trainer and Sports Nutritionist. From an overweight housewife struggling with health issues like PCOS and Thyroid, being married to an army officer and a devoted mother of ten-year-old, she succeedingly paved her ways for a fitness lifestyle with perseverance and sheer hard work. She gained immense recognition, entitled to Mrs Body Fit and Mrs India Earth, Women Achiever of the year(2018) by Uprise India Foundation, and many more.
The inspiring woman is a founder of Diksha Chhabra Fitness Consultation, running her start-up through which she helps in keeping people fit & healthy with her training courses, and fitness programs. Also, she is a motivational speaker, an Instagram influencer, and a prime motivating force for all those women who have been striving hard to deal with their women’s health concerns, or in a rut with their sedentary lifestyle.
Interview Times had an excellent opportunity to interact with Diksha Chhabra and get an insight into her life journey.
Yogita Malhotra: Your transformation is built with sacrifice, determination, and hard work. What drove you to do this? We all desire to do this but not the follow-through. What made the difference for you?
When I was undergoing this stage, I was working at that time and realised my health was deteriorating, and on the other hand, my mother-in-law was suffering from cancer. Amid all the chaos, a thought dawned upon me. If I cannot take care of myself, how will I take care of others? For health concerns, I contacted doctors, and they used to say, Medicines won’t help, until you change your lifestyles and habits. This is how I realised this assuredly has to stop now because I cannot take medication for life. I thought to take a break from my work and finally became hellbent on practising healthy habits, eating correctly, and then rejoining my work. Like so, I resigned my job with this thought.
It began with a fundamental process, like going out for a walk. Still, then gradually I seamlessly stepped into a proper method of losing weight, intake of nutrients, being consistent with my balanced diet and the correct exercises to get back in good shape and to be healthy. That’s how it all began. And finally, it helped me in my transformation.
Moreover, I also felt that many women of my age are bound in similar situations. They are perplexed and earnestly looking to change their lifestyle amidst their family, work, and responsibilities. I can feel how much time, money, and effort I have spent on trying and determining the satisfactory way for a healthy lifestyle. Irrefutably, mental and societal pressure has perpetually been there psychologically, let alone body shaming. All this naturally prompted me to initiate my start-up.
Tushant Baranwal: How has your life changed since you transformed? Have you noticed changes in your confidence? How does this affect your life?
It has transformed me tremendously. When I compare my before-after pictures, I feel more confident now, and think I am ready to confront the world, irrespective of the opinions; you like me or not, accept me or not.
Earlier I was overly cautious of how people would think about me if I am ordinarily wearing anything, thoughts used to hover my head like am I looking fat, or OMG this picture came so bad. Psychologically I was continually getting affected, as I did not prefer attending parties with the fear of getting judged. Lack of confidence and low self-esteem was interfering with my work because I was in an authoritative position.
If you are in good shape and healthy, that would naturally reflect in your personality. You are not only getting physically fit but also you are becoming emotionally stable and robust.
I believe the way you look is not essential, but how the world perceives you matter. My objective was to make myself healthier not to get back in shape. But of course, it improved my interpersonal skills, my personality, boosted my confidence and self-esteem. It sparked to a more excessive level; I participated in a National level beauty pageant, without background or anything. I just wanted to showcase my arduous work to everyone because I firmly believe one should always be outspoken about your backbreaking work and results.
YM: Would you advise taking supplements for health goals?
Foremost, our body is capable enough to absorb the nutrient naturally. Whenever a person has started to get back in shape or to try to be healthy, they should always start with the organic diet, whatever the nutrient they require it will be from the organic diet, because that’s how I started.
Many people commit this mistake of including supplements, but they don’t make changes to their diet. All your macro and micronutrients should typically come from the organic diet. After a certain period, if you, however, feel you lack some nutrition, then the supplement part can carry out its role. There is an extensive range of health supplements; you should have omega 3 for good fat, calcium, Multivitamins, and the most significant one is Creatine supplements because Indian diet lacks protein-rich food.
I recommend supplements only when one realises their diet is not fulfilling your daily need for protein and macro or micronutrients.
TB: How important would you say diet plays in the process apart from exercises?
If you want to lose weight, diet solely cannot do everything if your muscles are not activated. Both are equally important for successful weight loss. And if you want to gain weight, it’s not possible without exercise. Generally, underweight people have a high metabolic rate. And till then they don’t exercise, the process of nutrient absorption is not activated. Moreover, COVID-19 has made the situation worse since most of us are locked inside our home without any physical activity. Today lifestyle is not even allowing people to do the bare minimum of physical work.
In my opinion, diet invariably plays a substantial role, but without exercises, it won’t work. They both complement each other. Exercises make the diet absorb easily in our body. Irrespective of your specific goals, activities should be a part of your daily lifestyle.
YM: What essential advice do you have for women fighting metabolic disorders like PCOS or Hypothyroidism?
PCOS and Thyroid happen precisely when you have a sedentary lifestyle. If you are suffering from any metabolic disorder, you should make sure you exercise every day. Exercises improve our metabolism, and it’s real advice for everyone. You should exercise every day.
After pregnancy, every woman should pay attention to exercise and taking care of their health because it takes a toll on your body. And the lifestyle disorder starts if you fail to feed your body of necessary nutrients. Women compared to men have a slower metabolism, so exercise and a nutritious diet are essential for every woman.
Apart from PCOS and Thyroid, the woman also has body aches and other problems due to vitamin D deficiency and arthritis. I strongly recommend that every woman should do a thorough check-up in three months and act accordingly.
By Yogita Malhotra and Tushant Baranwal